World's top roofing shingle manufacturers: Spotlight on GAF
General Aniline & Film, or GAF, is North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing products. Its Timberline roofing shingles have dominated the residential roofing market in recent years, helping to catapult the company to sales of $3 billion.
GAF Corp. company overview
GAF operates more than two dozen manufacturing facilities in the United States, and its headquarters are located in Parsippany, NJ.
The company was founded in 1886. In addition to asphalt roofing products, GAF has also manufactured photographic film, welding and HVAC components, and non-woven fiberglass used in various products, such as flooring and landscape fabrics.
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There are more than 4,000 certified GAF roofing installers across the country, so there's a good chance you can find one near you. Many of the roofing contractors you'll find at HometownRoofingContractors.com are GAF Factory Certified. Also, we post reviews from real customers, so you can can be sure you choose a qualified and reputable roofing contractor.
Quick facts about GAF Corp.
- Founded in 1886
- American-made roofing products
- Manufacturer of the top-selling roofing shingle in the nation: Timberline Roofing Shingles
- Produces a variety of styles and wide palette of colors
- First roofing product manufacturer to offer a lifetime limited warranty on its roofing shingles
- Cool roofing shingles available – saves on cooling costs
- Patented roofing shingle designs
- Roofing contractor certification program
- Many roofing contractors prefer GAF shingles over all others – read here
The GAF Master Elite certification is awarded to roofing contractors who are properly licensed, insured, maintain a good reputation and our committed to ongoing training. According to GAF, only 3% of roofing contractors nationwide qualify for Master Elite status, so it’s a very prestigious certification.
GAF also offers Certified Weather Stopper Roofing Contractor distinction and Master/Master Select status for roofing contractors.
While having the GAF Master Elite certification doesn’t necessarily make a roofing contractor “better” than the next guy, it does ensure that he or she is experienced and knowledgeable about installing GAF roofing systems.
- TIP: Better warranties are offered on GAF roofing products when installed by a GAF-certified installer.
GAF roofing shingles
GAF offers four types of roofing shingles: Three-tab, Timberline, Specialty and Designer Choice.
GAF’s 3-Tab Roofing Shingles is its most basic, budget-friendly option. Unlike the other three roofing shingle varieties, the 3-Tab shingles do not come with a Lifetime Warranty.
There is a Marquis WeatherMax Roofing Shingle available, which comes with a 30-year limited warranty. GAF also offers the Royal Sovereign Roofing Shingle with a 25-year limited warranty. These warranties mainly cover defects in material workmanship.
Both varieties of 3-Tab shingles come a wide variety of colors, and both offer the traditional “flat” look of 3-tab shingles. For a more three-dimensional look, go with one of the other options below.
Introduced in 1967, GAF Timberline Shingles are today the top-selling roofing shingle nationwide. In 2011, GAF introduced its Lifetime limited warranty on Timberline products, making it the first company to put a lifetime stamp on a roofing shingle product.
Timberline architectural shingles feature a 3-D appearance somewhat similar to wood shakes. These shingles are available in nearly any color.
There are four Timberline varieties to choose from: Timberline Ultra HD, Timberline American Harvest, Timberline HD and Timberline Natural Shadow. There are also specialty Timberline shingles available (see “Specialty” below).
The difference in price and durability between the Timberline flavors is negligible. Prices and colors will vary according to your location. All come with the GAF Lifetime limited warranty.
GAF’s Specialty Roofing Shingles are specifically designed for either impact resistance or UV-ray reflectivity (e.g., cool roofing).
The Grand Sequoia IR Roofing Shingles and the Timberline ArmorShield II Roofing Shingles are designed to withstand impacts, such as from hail. Both have earned a Class IV impact resistance certification.
- TIP: These shingles may help reduce your homeowner’s insurance.
The Timberline Cool Series Roofing Shingles are designed to reflect the sun’s rays, helping to reduce the cost of cooling your home. GAF claims a savings of 7% to 15% on annual cooling costs for the average-sized home.
- TIP: This is an Energy Star product and may qualify for tax incentives. Learn more.
GAF’s lineup of Designer Roofing Shingles can bring a whole new look to your home. It allows you to get the look of slate, European clay tiles or other designer roofing products at a fraction of the cost. All come with limited lifetime warranties.
Here’s a quick look at each (other color options are available):
Camelot II Roofing Shingles
Sienna Roofing Shingles
Slateline Roofing Shingles
Grand Sequoia Roofing Shingles
Grand Sequoia IR Roofing Shingles
Woodland Roofing Shingles
Monaco Roofing Shingles
Roofing warranties can get a little confusing, but it is important to be aware of the fine print should you need to exercise the warranty at some point.
GAF offers a limited lifetime warranty on all roofing shingles except for the 3-tab shingles, as mentioned above.
Here are some key points to consider with GAF roofing shingle warranties (current as of 5/13):
- Lifetime limited warranty shingles come with a 10-year Smart Choice Protection Period.
- GAF will pay the cost (materials and labor) for repairing and replacing damaged shingles within the Smart Choice Protection Period.
- GAF will not pay for the costs associated with tearing off or disposing of shingles.
- 25-year and 30-year roofing shingles come with a 5-year Smart Choice Protection Period.
- The cost of labor is no longer covered beyond the Smart Choice Protection Period.
- After the Smart Choice Protection Period has elapsed, the cost of materials is covered at a prorated cost determined by the number of months elapsed divided by 600 (40 years). For example, a claim made 25 years after installation (300 months) would require that GAF pay 50% of the material costs (300/600=50%). After 40 years, GAF pays just 20% of the cost of materials for the remainder of the time you live in the house.
- You may transfer the lifetime limited warranty one time to the new owner of the home by writing GAF (GAF, Warranty Services, 1361 Alps Road, Wayne, New Jersey 07470, USA) within 60 days of taking ownership.***This must be within the Smart Choice Protection Period; otherwise, a warranty of period of just two years is assessed to the new homeowner.
- Notify GAF within 30 days of the damage being incurred.***Notifying your roofing contractor does not count as a notice to GAF. Make a claim to GAF by calling 1-800-458-1860 or writing them at the address above.
- Some damage is not covered under the GAF warranties, including: Damage directly caused by improper installation, acts of nature beyond that stated in the warranty (e.g., wind gusts above the shingle’s wind rating), mold/fungus/other discoloration (except for shingles labeled with the StainGuard logo which is warranted against blue-green algae), and interior damage caused roof leaks (e.g., mold growth).
Warranty terms and conditions are subject to change at any time, so this information may become outdated. Check your product's warranty for the most up-to-date information.
GAF is dedicated to making its operations sustainable through recycling initiatives, energy conservation and “green” product development.
It currently offers one cool roofing product in its Timberline Cool Series Shingles. Currently there are three colors available to choose from: Cool Antique Slate, Cool Barkwood and Cool Weathered Wood.
The Cool Series Shingles come with a lifetime limited warranty, are resistant to algae growth and help reduce cooling costs up to 15% per year.
- TIP: You may be eligible for a $500 Federal tax rebate and possibly other tax incentives/rebates by going with a Cool Series Shingle.
GAF Timberline shingles extreme field testing: Wind, rain and blast protection
How GAF roofing shingles are made
A news report showcasing the GAF manufacturing plant in Bakersfield, CA.
This article is for informational purposes only. HometownRoofingContractors.com is not affiliated with GAF Corp. in any way. All images are courtesy of GAF.